14th April 2023.

The Bucolic Brum Bender continued into the Jewellery Quarter, and a genuine pre-emptive tick at the Hen & Chickens.

Despite the rain, I joined Kentish Paul in a leisurely pace that allowed us to take in the beauty of the industrial quarter,

which features a “Top 500 trees growing out of buildings” entry.

The Hen & Chickens was Stafford Paul’s pre-crawl highlight,

a gem of a corner pub,

with Proper bench seating,

and Proper horse racing on the TV screens.

But it’s as a Desi pub serving curries to hungry Brummies that it’s best known, and both bars were close to standing room only as we arrived.

But somehow the Pauls found the last table. I can almost see a smile on Paul’s face. I don’t think those empty glasses are his.

Note the half pint. That’s my half of Wadworth Horizon, an odd lone pump choice for a Brummie boozer unless the beer coming out of Devizes is cheaper than that from Wolves these days.

It was the very embodiment of NBSS 2.5, an OK beer you drank without noticing, fine for washing down a Balti but a bit after the Lord Mayor’s show following a great run of cask quality.

I neglected to take a photo of LAF’s curry, too busy hoping he’d nip to the bar so I could nick a bit, so here’s a great photo from Kentish Paul’s top report.

Photo : Paul Bailey

A great atmosphere in here, in the post-work Golden Hour of pub-going. Loads of lads, presumably the ones nervous about a mile walk to the Thai cuisine in the Bartons Arms.

Pubs aren’t dead.


  1. Very fond of the Hen & Chickens – isn’t that an amazingly pre-industrial pub name for the city of a thousand trades? – and it’s usually where I stop off if changing trains in Brum and don’t have much time. But yes, it’s a shame they don’t have more local beer, although the Tribute was very good when I was there last.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Mine was perfectly acceptable, and probably my first pint of Horizon as well – there aren’t any Wadworth pubs in this little corner of England!


      2. The Hen and Chickens used to have local beers, hence the exceptionally rare stained glass AAA for Atkinson’s Aston Ales in the small cupboard door above the barmaid’s head.
        It was of course M&B when I first used the pub in 1973 and in recent years I’ve not at all minded beers from St Austell and especially Palmers Tally Ho which I rarely found in Dorset.
        Maybe beers are best judged before a 16½% Jamaican tonic wine !


  2. It shows how far CAMRA have come that they can embrace so fulsomely the Desi Pub, when just 40 short years ago it would have been roundly derided in the way vinegary chips were back then. Have you noticed how few pubs smell of vinegary chips these days? That’ll be another CAMRA win then!…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s